D.J. is a former antagonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He is a former high-ranking member of the Saviors and the former second-in-command of Jed's Savior rebels. At some point after Rick Grimes' assumed death, D.J. became a resident of the Alexandria Safe-Zone and one of its most trusted allies. He served as the secondary antagonist of the episode "Warning Signs".
During his time as a Savior, D.J. was like many other members: an aggressive extortionist and raider that imposed his will onto others. However, he is not as much of an extremist as some of the other Saviors like Simon. After the Saviors are defeated, D.J. tries to cooperate with the communities and live in peace, but decides to follow Jed in his rebellion against their new leader, Carol, after several of his fellow Saviors are killed. Despite aiding Jed in ambushing Rick and Carol, D.J. stands aside and makes no actual aggressive moves towards the two himself. After Carol overpowers Jed, D.J. surrenders without a fight.
Six years after the apparent death of Rick Grimes and the fall of the Sanctuary, D.J. has a change of heart, opting not to follow Jed in continuing the Savior ways and joining Alexandria, eventually becoming a trusted and civil member who watches over the gate, escorts newcomers to holding, and helps transport Magna's group to the Hilltop, holding no grudge against his former enemies. In return, his former enemies show him no animosity and easily treat D.J. as one of their own.
D.J. is also shown to have an unwavering loyalty to Michonne, as she is shown to have complete trust in him, referring to him and Siddiq as “her men”.
D.J.'s most noticeable trait seems to be loyalty. Just as he was staunchly loyal to Negan, he is loyal to Alexandria and Michonne seven and a half years later. Despite this, D.J. has enough sense not to fight for a lost cause, as he never attempted to free Negan and refused to join Jed's group of marauders following the demise of the Sanctuary, despite initially joining his rebellion. Over the six years following Rick's disappearance, D.J. became a trusted member of Alexandria, earning Michonne's respect as a loyal survivor.
D.J. has been shown on many occasions to be brave. At the end of his life, D.J., along with Ozzy and Alek, assaulted the Whisperers to give the captives a chance to escape despite being heavily outnumbered. Though he ultimately fell, D.J.'s actions along with that of Ozzy and Alek gave the captives a chance to fight back in a heroic last stand, something that D.J. is remembered for.
Nothing is known about D.J.'s life prior to or as the outbreak began.
At some point in the apocalypse, D.J. somehow came into contact with a group named "the Saviors" which he subsequently joined upon where he was appointed as one of the Sanctuary guards.
D.J. aided his group in terrorizing other survivors and communities around the area into subjugating to Negan's will, where their victims would be forced to give half their supplies in exchange for not being murdered.
When Eugene's plans successfully divert the herd away from the Sanctuary, D.J. is among the Saviors to accompany Negan to Alexandria as they demand Rick's surrender. When negotiations fail, the Saviors launch grenades into Alexandria and they are ordered to find Carl alive. D.J. and Norris spot Carl through the smoke and chase after him. However, Carl is able to escape into the sewer in time thanks to a smoke grande, prompting them to keep searching.
D.J. and Norris carry the coffin containing an undead Dean and follow Gary into Negan's conference room. They are ordered to drop off the coffin and leave. Later that day, D.J. receives a call from Rick so he gives the radio to Negan.
D.J. is on guard duty with two Saviors at the Sanctuary's front gate. He approaches Negan's car with his weapon raised but lowers it when he realizes Negan is alive. D.J. smiles and tells him that he knew he wasn't dead to which Negan makes D.J. promise to keep his arrival a secret as he wants it to be a surprise for everyone else.
D.J. is promoted to lieutenant and plans the final assault on the Hilltop along with Negan, Simon, Dwight, Gary, and Arat. Later that day, he is among the Saviors to open fire on the other Saviors planning to overthrow Negan. He also witnesses the fight between Negan and Simon inside the Sanctuary and Simon's subsequent death. Afterwards, D.J. helps capture Dwight, who was revealed by Laura to be a mole working with Rick and the survivors.
D.J. is part of the Saviors' ambush on the Militia. When D.J. attempts to open fire, his handgun explodes due to having been loaded with faulty ammunition manufactured by Eugene. He is injured as a result, clutching his hand but manages to survive, unlike many other Saviors. D.J. is later knocked out by Jesus and tied up to keep Morgan from killing him. He then watches on as Negan is defeated and captured while Rick addresses the crowd, declaring peace among all communities. Afterwards, D.J. returns to the Sanctuary alongside Laura and the other surrendering Saviors.
During the year and a half that passed since the end of the war, D.J. was forced to work on the Sanctuary under Daryl's orders. He works alongside Daryl, Rosita, and Regina with the fermentation process of converting corn to fuel.
While searching for a missing Justin around the woods, D.J. and a small group of Saviors encounter Maggie and Kal on their way to deliver food to the Sanctuary. He looks on as Jed attempts to intimate Maggie by stealing one of the tomatoes from the supply cart. After questioning her about their missing people, D.J. and the other Saviors let her pass and continue searching for their missing comrade around the area.
When the work camp is informed of Justin's death, the Saviors become furious and D.J. accuses Daryl of being the culprit due to his recent fight with Justin. He grabs an axe in preparation to retaliate, with the rest of the Saviors following suit when Rick rides in the middle of the group with his gun drawn and warns everyone to back off. D.J. is promptly disarmed by Arat who also tells him to calm down to avoid further conflicts.
At night, D.J. and Jed stage an ambush for Carol and Rick in the woods, with Jed pretending to be a walker to get Carol to lower her guard. When Carol holsters her gun and prepares to kill the seemingly undead Jed, D.J. blindsides her and pushes her into Jed who then holds Carol at knife-point and explains to Rick he only wants their guns back for protection. However, Carol manages to disarm Jed while Rick points his gun at D.J. and forces him to his knees.
Shortly after leaving the camp due to Arat's death, D.J. and his fellow Saviors disarm Alden while he tried to convince them to return to the bridge project. After discovering that the Oceansiders were responsible for the death of several Saviors, D.J. is among the Saviors that return to the camp to enact their revenge. He manages to survive the attack against the other residents before the remaining survivors are forced to leave as a herd approaches the campsite.
At some point following Rick's assumed death, the Sanctuary eventually falls as a community and D.J. is among the Saviors that decide to move to Alexandria for a new beginning. Six years later, D.J watches as a group of strangers arrives at the community and checks on them to ensure they are unarmed. He prevents Magna from heading to the infirmary to be with Yumiko and instead escorts her and the rest of the group to holding.
When Michonne decides to escort the newcomers to Hilltop, D.J. accompanies her and steers the wagon carrying the survivors as he chats with Yumiko. Upon arriving at the newcomers' giant crate of supplies, which have been displaced and destroyed by walkers, D.J. helps them put down the walkers and to gather any salvageable items. While spending the night at an abandoned factory, D.J. and the rest wake up after hearing Michonne slice Luke's Stradivarius in half. He then listens as Luke explains art is the one thing that separates them from the animals.
The next morning, D.J. informs the group there is a herd of walkers outside the building that is blocking the path to their horses. He gives the newcomers their weapons on Michonne's orders and they are able to kill several walkers and leave the area. On the road, two Hilltop soldiers ride up to them to inform that Rosita's injured and being cared for at Hilltop.
Upon arriving at Hilltop, D.J. listens as Tara coldly greets Michonne and updates her on the others' situations. Once the group is allowed inside the town, he accompanies the newcomers inside the Barrington house to settle in.
D.J. talks with Tara, Enid, Alden, and Marco to organize a search party for the group that went out to look for a missing Eugene since they haven't returned. He watches as Luke offers to contribute and goes out with Alden. Later that day, he assists Jesus' funeral and watches in sadness as the residents hammer nails in the coffin. When the ceremony is over, D.J. and the rest of the group leave back to Alexandria.
D.J. and Scott are riding their horses back in Alexandria to inform Aaron of their finding regarding checking Daryl's tracks in the wilderness to see if anyone else was following his group.
D.J., alongside Ozzy and Alek, helps clear the roads to keep the routes to the Kingdom safe for the other communities heading for the fair. While patrolling the area, they find the remains of a cart from Hilltop in the woods and later show Daryl's group their finding and express their thoughts that the Whisperers are most likely responsible for the attack.
That night, D.J. and his group find the kidnapped residents in a barn surrounded by several Whisperers. They rush inside in an act of bravery and start attacking them, giving the group a chance to fight back. In the middle of the chaos, Alpha arrives and the group is subdued. She then decapitates everyone as Siddiq is forced to watch, only leaving him alive as a witness. D.J.'s decapitated head is later put by Alpha on one of the several pikes used for the Whisperers' border.
The next day, Daryl, Michonne, Carol, Siddiq, and Yumiko find the border and watch in horror at the victims, a reanimated D.J. being among them. They then put down their zombified heads to properly rest. When the group returns to the Kingdom, Siddiq delivers the tragic news and narrates how D.J. and the others fought together as a family in their last moments. He finishes the story by encouraging everyone to remember the fallen as brave heroes and to honor them.
During one of his PTSD attacks, Siddiq has a flashback where he witnesses D.J.'s brutal death at the hands of Alpha.
D.J. appears in Michonne's nightmare where she joins the Saviors as well as the night they met Negan.
- Killed By
- Himself (Caused)
- Alpha (Alive)
D.J., Ozzy, and Alek find the barn where several residents are kidnapped. They fight valiantly to rescue them, but are overpowered and decapitated alongside them by Alpha.
After finding the border, his zombified head is put down by either Daryl, Carol, Michonne, or Yumiko.
This list shows the victims D.J. has killed:
- Gary (Alive, alongside Norris and Arat)
- Himself (Caused)
- 10 unnamed Saviors (Alongside Norris and Arat)
- At least 1 unnamed Whisperer
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
|✔||Appears||✔||Voice is heard|
|👁||Appears with no lines||✔||Appears in a flashback|
|✔||Appears as a walker||🖼||Appears in a photograph/video|
|✔||Appears as a corpse||✔||Appears in a hallucination/dream|
- So far, D.J. is the only known survivor in the TV Series to renounce his antagonistic ways twice, the first time being after Negan was defeated and the second after the shootout at the campsite. He is also the only known member of Jed's group to have done so. This is despite his former status as Jed's second-in-command.
- Despite being a fiercely loyal and prominent Savior during the war, D.J. never actually killed or even harmed any of the survivors. The only living people he has ever killed on-screen were Simon's loyalists in "Worth", an act that benefited the other survivors.
- D.J. was the last known member of Jed's group of rebels to die.
- Actor Matt Mangum stated that D.J.'s loyalty to Jed was more out of a sense of survival than actual loyalty.
- D.J. is one of five Savior lieutenants to renounce his antagonistic ways, with the other four being Laura, Arat, Eugene Porter, and Dwight.
- According to actor Matt Mangum, there was a cut line in the episode "Stradivarius" where Siddiq asks Michonne to allow him to come with her on the journey to Hilltop with Magna's group, stating that "All D.J. talks about is horses." This is likely a reference to Matt Mangum's horse tattoos, which have appeared in the show before.
- In an interview with BMNY, Matt Mangum joked that D.J.'s name was Don Johnson. However, there is no official confirmation that this is true.
- D.J. is the only pike victim with a proper death scene, as it was shown in flashbacks during the episode "Open Your Eyes".
- It's hinted in "What We Become" that D.J. may have been present during the events of "Last Day on Earth" and "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be".
- This may not be the case, however, as Michonne's memories are very warped during her hallucinogenic experience, so several characters are present where they weren't originally, like Laura dying at the Satellite Outpost. It is most likely that Michonne was simply imagining these events with Saviors she was most familiar with, such as D.J. and Laura, who joined Alexandria after the Sanctuary fell.